Peterbilt truck
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Tractor-Trailer Trucks

As I write this (15 December 2007) I have been waiting since September 2006 for a back-ordered tractor-trailer truck to be delivered from Walthers. I wanted a big rig for my Winter Layout, but completed it (if there is such a thing as "completing" a layout) without a truck.

Then a few weeks ago I saw on eBay a 1/256 scale Peterbilt tractor-trailer for a Buy It Now price of $15.99. Z scale is 1/220, so the difference in size would be hardly noticeable. But I'd been bitten once before when buying an item on eBay without knowing it's actual retail price. So before ordering this rig, I started searching for rigs by the same manufacturer (Die-Cast Promotions) with Google.

Die-Cast Promotions makes trucks in a variety of sizes considerably larger than 1/256 scale. I couldn't find something comparable to the item for sale on eBay. Then I found Awesome Diecast's web site. They didn't have retail versions of the eBay offering either, but they did have two tractor-trailer "Holiday Ornaments" in 1/256 scale. The nice thing was that they were only $5.99. A savings of $10. So I got one of each - a Peterbilt and a Freightliner.

Each came with a loop of ribbon through an eye-screw inserted into their trailers. I removed each screw, filed the metal that the screws had deformed flat, and filled the holes with a tiny bit of rope-caulk weather stripping. Then I painted over the caulk with enamel paint.

Not a bad way to save twenty bucks! But that's not all.

While creating this page and testing out the links above I discovered that the Cummins Peterbilt truck offered on eBay for $15.99 is available from Die-Cast Promotions for - drum roll - $4.99. Yes, just $4.99, not $15.99. As the Romans said, "Caveat emptor." If you're interested, Die-Cast Promotions has a second 1/256 scale truck at $4.99 and another Holiday Ornament truck for $5.99. You can buy them at the web site. I don't know if I didn't look hard enough the first time or if they've updated their site since I searched.

Note added 21 December 2008: Today on eBay I saw another 1/256 scale truck for bidding starting at $9.99. So I checked the Die-Cast Promotions web site and didn't see it. But they did have the Peterbilt Cummins tractor-trailer with display case and magnifier - the black truck with the red flames that has been appearing frequently on eBay for $10 to $15. It's retail price is only $4.99. They also have a couple of other 1/256 scale "Christmas ornament" trucks. If you're interested, go to the last page of their "Trucks" section. I also discovered that they have an additional 15 trucks at the end of their "Sports Art - Collegiate" section. These are Christmas ornament-style International trucks and trailers with the names and logos of 15 different colleges. If you want an Arkansas Razorback truck, for example, this is the place to find it!

Freightliner truck
Screw-hole showing
Freightliner showing the screw-hole in the trailer.
Screw-hole gone
Freightliner with the screw-hole filled and painted.

Cummins tractor-trailer
Why pay $9.99 or $15.99 when it retails for only $4.99?

Note added 18 December 2009: The Christmas-ornament trucks in the "Sports Art - Collegiate" section (but not in the "Trucks" section) have disappeared. Maybe this is because Christmas has gone by. If you are interested in any of Die-Cast Promotions' trucks, I would suggest that you check their site periodically to see what's new, what's come back, and what's disappeared.